Internet: Crime spreads on the web
5 May 2011
La Voix du Luxembourg
As La Voix du Luxembourg points out on its front page, the "Dark side of the Internet" has created closer links with the poppy fields of Laos. Reporting on the publication of the 2011 edition of Europol’s bi-annual survey of trends in organised crime. The daily quotes Europol director Rob Wainwright, who describes the Internet as an emerging "key facilitator" for multi-billion euro criminal businesses in Europe. Whether they be involved in drug or human trafficking, money laundering, counterfeiting, or fraud, “traditional criminals” are increasingly using the Internet. La Voix du Luxembourg notes that the report highlights the existence of a number of criminal hubs. These include: "groups gravitating around the Netherlands and Belgium, which coordinate the distribution of drugs in Europe: and in the Baltic States, where they handle illicit merchandise sourced in Russia. The Southwest (Spain, Portugal) has become a hub for cocaine, cannabis resin and human trafficking, while increased trafficking across the Black Sea has led to a rapid growth in criminal networks in the Southeast (Bulgaria, Romania, Greece). Last but not least, Italy continues to be a focal point for criminal activities linked to companies, counterfeiting, and human trafficking."